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COULSON RESIGNS AS U.K. PRIME MINISTER’S SPOKESMAN AMID GROWING SCANDAL

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Andy Coulson has resigned as British Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications amid new allegations that reporters at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World London tabloid were routinely hacking into the voicemail of celebrities and politicians while Coulson was the editor. Coulson has repeatedly denied that he was aware of the activity, despite claims to the contrary by former reporters. In a statement, Coulson said today (Friday): “I stand by what I’ve said about those events, but when the spokesman needs a spokesman, it’s time to move on.” His statement also cited “continued coverage of events connected to my old job.” Accepting the resignation, Cameron said that he was “very sorry” that Coulson had felt “compelled” to step down. “Andy has told me that the focus on him was impeding his ability to do his job and was starting to prove a distraction for the Government,” he said. In reporting the resignation, the London Daily Telegraph observed that Coulson had apparently “concluded that his position has become untenable following a ‘drip drip’ of disclosures over the activities of the newspaper while he was editor.”

COULSON’S STATEMENT

I can today confirm that I’ve resigned as Downing Street director of communications.

It’s been a privilege and an honour to work for David Cameron for three-and-a-half years.

I’m extremely proud of the part I’ve played in helping him reach No 10 and during the coalition’s first nine months.

Nothing is more important than the Government’s task of getting this country back on its feet.

Unfortunately, continued coverage of events connected to my old job at the News of the World has made it difficult for me to give the 110 per cent needed in this role.

I stand by what I’ve said about those events but when the spokesman needs a spokesman, it’s time to move on.

I’ll leave within the next few weeks and will do so wishing the Prime Minister, his family, and his brilliant and dedicated team the very best for what I’m sure will be a long and successful future in Government.’


CAMERON’S STATEMENT

I am very sorry that Andy Coulson has decided to resign as my director of communications, although I understand that the continuing pressures on him and his family mean that he feels compelled to do so.

Andy has told me that the focus on him was impeding his ability to do his job and was starting to prove a distraction for the Government.

During his time working for me, Andy has carried out his role with complete professionalism. He has been a brilliant member of my team and has thrown himself at the job with skill and dedication. He can be extremely proud of the role he has played, including for the last eight months in Government.

I wish Andy all the very best for his future, which I am certain will be a successful one.